Mar 28, 2012

Back home

A hazy view of the Durban skyline
Our time in the Berg is now just happy memories and lovely photos. It was a special time and one we will treasure. We are now back in Umhlanga Rocks and the first thing that hit me when we got home was the heat as we stepped out of the car. It is a different kind of heat compared to the Berg. The Berg is dry and hot. Here it is humid and hot. The other difference is the sound around us. In the Berg it is still and quiet. Here there is the constant background noise of the sea. I love the sound of the sea and how it changes from day to day. Sometimes you don't even notice it and at others it is a very definite presence - very loud with the waves crashing down on the shore.
Cooling down in the pool

Back home on the veranda

Dinner at Bangkok Wok
We arrived home at lunch time and decided to order pizzas. Then it was time to relax. The boys played X-box (what a surprise) and we sat and chatted outside. Caelen slept because he played golf at Champagne Sports Resort on Saturday then had a late night out with his friends who were also up from Durban. Kyle had his first swim in the pool while Emma and I sat with our feet in the water and watched. I thought that instead of cooking we could go out for dinner so we went to Bangkok Wok in the village. We are spoilt for choice. There are 12 restaurants within 2 mins walking distance of our complex. In fact, there are several others as well if you go a little further across the road or round the corner and even more if you want to get in your car and drive. We prefer walking to those nearest us. It was raining when we left home but by the time we got back the rain had stopped. Caelen opted not to come with us so we got a take away for him. A very pleasant end to the weekend.

Mar 27, 2012

The last few days in a blur

I am just slipping this post in- I found it unpublished in the drafts sections and thought it was a shame to waste it so here it is way out of chronological order.

I am writing this post at 3:51am but have been up since 2:00am!
Question :Why? Are you crazy?
Answer: Choose one of the following
 a - too busy
 b - too tired
 c - too hot
 d - all of the above
My answer:  d

The start of the school year is always really busy, especially for a Grade 1 teacher as there always seems to be so much more to do. In addition to that, we had a very short summer break 3 weeks compared to 5 and this is our hottest time of the year. Durban is not a nice place to be in January/February not just because of the heat - that you can cope with, it's the humidity that saps your energy and you feel you can't keep your eyes open. That is the killer and it seems to be getting worse! Must be thanks to global warming because it is definitely hotter at this time than in previous years. This week we had a temperature of 29degrees C on Tuesday when the children all started, then yesterday it was 33degrees and today is meant to be 34! Not all classrooms have airconditioning, luckily I do because I am in an old prefab but only 3 of the normal classrooms have aircon and the rest don't. Not ideal conditions for learning. February is the worst then it usually starts getting better in March and April/May are the best. OK- enough about the weather....

Sunday started out with the most beautiful sunrise. You will have to bear with me regarding my photos as I am still getting to grips with editing and posting. Hopefully this picture taken from outside my bedroom will give you an inkling of what it looked like.

Sunday turned out to be magnificent. The sea was amazing. There was a bit of a breeze which made it more comfortable. I think there must have been a regatta on because we saw lots of yachts out, far more than we normally see.
I liked this one because there you see old Rustbucket on the right with the yacht looking very tiny and the background ship even bigger than Rustbucket.
You can see how far over the yachts are leaning - there were not too many white horses at this stage but it did pick up and there were a lot more. The red top of the lighthouse is just visible above the roof at the bottom. The roof belongs to The Oyster Box hotel - a very smart well known hotel. Lots of visiting celebrities often stay either there or at The Beverley Hills hotel next door.
Another contrast - a rubber duck next trailing behind the yacht. A lot of fishing boats launch from Umhlanga Beach. There is the Umhlanga Ski Boat Club which use Grannies Pool as a launch area. The yachts come from the harbour area from Point Yacht Club or The Royal Marine Yacht club.

Family Time

The family after our adventure golf in really hot conditions - everyone still happy

I was just thinking how long it's been since we all went away together on holiday as a family - it would have been before Kyle left for overseas  which was pre 2000. That is a long time! This time together is long overdue and very special. It's wonderful to see how well the boys have just slotted back together as if Kyle had never been away. I must say I think we have a good vibe as a family. Lots of laughs - especially from Ciaran - and  lots of good natured banter. It must be quite different for Emma being in such an all male environment. She and the boys are getting on well which is really great. Everyone is chilled and relaxed.

On Friday we decided to have lunch  at The Waffle Hut. We spotted it when we were on our way to the cottages and thought it looked like a good place to try out. There is also a nursery, an adventure golf course and a curio shop selling rugs, candles and other bits and pieces. You can actually see the ladies weaving the rugs inside. Because Caelen hadn't eaten breakfast and was hungry we decided to eat first then play adventure golf. It was exceptionally hot but luckily there were shady spots where we could get out of the sun. Kyle really needed those because his feet were sunburnt. He didn't put suntan lotion on the tops of his feet and they ended up  bright red. When the sun beats down on that sunburn it is not fun!
Kyle and Emma
What to choose?
OK, not as easy as it looks
Ciaran and Caelen messing around with Chez

Mar 24, 2012

It's been a while...

As you can see I am not the most prolific blogger. I did say I would try to update my blog on a regular basis but once the school term starts I really battle to make the time. Anyway, it's holidays and I am back. Because we had such a short summer holiday the term has seemed particularly long and busy. I find that more and more is expected of us and by the time we get to the end of the term everyone is very cranky and in need of a break. I was off school for a week because I ended up with a nasty dose of bronchitis which has really knocked me and even after 2 visits to the doctor and antibiotics and a cortisone injection and tablets I am still not over it . I don't think I have ever coughed so much in my life, so much so that I have only had 2 decent nights sleep in the last 3 weeks.

Anyway on a much more pleasant note we have had lots to look forward to. My eldest son Kyle left South Africa to live in the UK 9 years ago. In all that time he has only been home once. That was for his 21st birthday and that was the last time Chez saw him! He is turning 30 this year! Last Sunday Kyle andhis girlfriend Emma, arrived for a holiday. This is Emma's first visit to South Africa and her first time meeting the rest of the family. She and I have met on several occasions when I was over in the UK staying with Rhona and her family. Chez and I went to meet them at the airport but unfortunately I have no arrival photos as my camera was playing up : (   Kyle and Emma are staying with us and we have llts planned for whilst they are here. I just know the time is going to fly by!

We still had 2 days of school before our holidays started but this gave them a chance to relax and enjoy the lovely South African sunshine. Luckily the humidity is not as bad at this time of the year but the temperatures are still in the late 20's early 30's.

On Wednesday we left for a 4 night stay in the beautiful Drakensberg. We booked to stay at Ama Casa Cottages in the Cathkin Peak area. Chez had been searching the internet and found this piece of heaven. What an awesome find. It is so beautiful here. We are staying in Sunbird, which has the biggest house and our accommodation is fantastic. The views of the mountains are spectacular and it is so peaceful. We couldn't have asked for anything better.

On the road to Ama Casa

Follow the signs

Nearly there

Wow! Such a steep hill.

Arriving at the reception area.

The entrance

This is it - Sunbird Cottage

Looking in from the veranda

What a view!

Looking out from the veranda towards the mountains

The view from our bedroom

Our bedroom